It is hard to believe that it has been seven months since AMD launched the Radeon HD3870 and over a year since the 2900 XT was their top performing product. The latest AMD product is with us in the form of the Radeon HD 4850 which keeps the ATI product “refreshes” on a near six month cycle. The 4850 is the first card to use ATI’s RV770 core which brings with it significant increases in specification over the 3000 series and is designed to ensure AMD/ATI have a product which is competitive in the $200/£140 price range.
For a few weeks it appeared as if ATI would easily achieve this goal but some aggressive price repositioning of the 9800 GTX by Nvidia as well as a snap announcement of the 9800 GTX+ mean the 4850 is hitting a very crowded but interesting market.
Today we will be running the two new products through a selection of the latest games at resolutions up to 2560×1600 as well as delving into some Blu-Ray playback testing and overclocking in order to establish how well they perform. We will also be looking at how they compare to the more expensive cards currently available to see if the extra cash outlay really does benefit the consumer, or if these new cards provide excellent performance at a much more attractive price.